On The Run

Yes, I Ran Every Street In Peolwane Too!

A few weeks ago I shared what it was like to run #RunEveryStreet in one of Gaborone’s neighbourhoods – Marapoathutlwa. I enjoyed the experience so much that I quickly moved onto another neighbourhood, Peolwane, formerly known as Ditimamodimo, and commonly referred to as Block 7. Peolwane is a swallow in Setswana and in Botswana this bird signals impending rain which in turn symbolises life and harvest in a country where water is so scarce.

What I Observed Running In Peolwane

There are clear similarities between the two neighbourhoods which is not really surprising as they border each other and were established around the same time. There is a mix of paved, tarred and dirt roads, as well as a range of houses and apartments that differ in size, structure and stature. There are also cows milling about as well as many collared dogs on the loose.

There are several colourful dimausu with some vendors selling roasted maize, watermelons, oranges and even bottled ginger beer. In addition to these food stalls, there are outdoor services including photocopying and printing, several car washes and even a place for washing sneakers!

But there are differences between the two places, some subtle and others, more obvious. The roads are narrower and the sides of many tarred streets are mysteriously covered in sand. I also found Peolwane to be a lot quieter with less energy and character than Marapoathutlwa.

Although I didn’t spot any state-run schools, I did find a brand-new private Secondary School, Enko Botho Campus which aims “to deliver a high quality international education based on the respected Cambridge and International Baccalaureate programmes”. There are two universities – Ba Isago University opened in 2002 and Limkokwing University in 2005, both established to increase access to higher learning education in Botswana. There are several other establishments including the Human Resource Development Council, Botswana Qualifications Authority, as well as a 24-hour Medical Rescue Centre and Sidilega Private Hospital opened in 2019 as the first citizen-owned private hospital in Botswana. Peolwane is also home to Childline Botswana which is an NGO founded in 1990 with the primary mission to help abused children using interventions like counselling, education, case work and alternative care programmes.

I spent four weeks on this project, two weeks less than I did for Marapoathutlwa. This is probably because there is a big undeveloped section in Peolwane and the institutions take up a lot of space. But I was also more efficient and focused having learnt from the many mistakes I made running Marapoathutlwa. So if you’re planning to #RunEveryStreet, I’ve got you covered!

Five Tips For Running Every Street

  • Plan Every Run. My friend Myf did a similar project in Cardiff and adopted quite a structured approach from the onset. I, on the other hand, ran where I felt like it, often missing several streets and having to repeat many sections. Eventually tired of the back and forth, I became more focused and started planning my runs better. When I did Peolwane, I started with all the main arteries before strategically tackling the minor roads in different areas. The result? Improved efficiency as well as less boredom and frustration.
  • Save The Best For Last. For Marapoathutlwa, I went for all the interesting sights first but that only meant the last couple of weeks were a real drag. So for Peolwane I saved some of the good bits for the last week when I needed extra motivation.
  • Use The Garmin Course Planner. Towards the end of my first project, I realised I could create routes for specific areas and sync them to my watch! I used this function a lot more for Peolwane so I didn’t have to worry about writing all the streets on a piece of paper.
  • Bring A Friend Along. If I were to do this again, I’d definitely bring a friend along. There is so much concentration involved especially when areas have hidden and confusing inner roads. Having someone there to confirm you’re on the right track would make such a difference. Also, when you take a wrong turn at least you have someone to blame!
  • Take Your Time. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get the project done in a certain timeframe. But I think having this as a long-term project would be ideal, meaning you can run in other places when you get bored and return when you’re ready. But Myf has a different idea – run the whole neighbourhood in one day! Now that would be an epic ultra-marathon!

Will I #RunEveryStreet in another part of town? I think that would just be a logistical nightmare! So I have no plans to do that. But never say never right? And maybe if I take a long-term approach, it would seem a lot less daunting? So, watch this space!

Should I #RunEveryStreet in another neighbourhood? Should I #RunEveryStreet in my city? What did you find most interesting about this tour?

I’m joining two fabulous runners, Kim from Running on the Fly and Deborah from Confessions from a Mother Runner for their link up – the “Weekly Run Down”.

27 thoughts on “Yes, I Ran Every Street In Peolwane Too!

  1. You are such an inspiration with running all the streets of so many different places! Something that I’ve done recently is running some of the alleys between the main streets. Are there alleys in your area? They are usually gravel (in my area) and usually give the residents access to their backyards; kind of a “shared” byway through the city blocks. They’re especially nice during winter because the snow makes the terrain less rough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so, so cool. Really an ambitious undertaking, especially as you said you did it yourself, and gave yourself a time limit. But what a fun adventure, and now you can say you really know this area! I hope you do some more of these in the future. And yes, let us know about the sneaker place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If there’s one thing I hate it’s cleaning my shoes 🤣 I may start with an old pair just to test it out and then bring my new pairs along!

      There’s a neighbourhood across the road from me that I’m considering. And I wouldn’t have to drive to get to it. Just cross a major road. So maybe in the New Year I’ll give that one a go!


  3. This is such a cool idea! Thanks again for taking us along with you and showing us your culture and towns. I need to take advantage of the Garmin route planner myself

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I find most interesting how very different neighborhoods are here and there. Although in a neighborhood we lived in in Austin, we did a few times have cows roaming the streets. That is highly unusual in TX & NY (although I imagine some more rural, farm areas might be a different story).

    And the interesting outdoor services!

    I think you need to do a post on the Garmin Course Planner. I’ve never used that. I have a Garmin Vivoactive 3 — I don’t know if that supports it or I just never knew it does. Sounds like something that would be very useful for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good idea for a post Judy! Let me see what I can put together that explains the planner step by step.

      Technically (and legally!), no farmer is allowed to have cows roaming anywhere within the city’s boundaries and they can be fined especially as they are dangerous on the big roads. But this law is clearly not well enforced judging from the number I encounter on my runs, LOL! And all cows are branded and tagged so it would be easy to locate the owners.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really inspirational! What a great way to explore a city. I would not want to do that here, our towns are all very similar, lol. It would be fun in the country, in a smaller town, tho!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.